MLB’s best prospect, Byron Buxton, won’t play before May

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Baseball’s best prospect, Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, injured his left wrist diving for a ball on March 16. At the time the Twins hoped he’d miss just a few days, but he hasn’t played since then and now they don’t expect him to see any game action until at least May.

Assistant general manager Rob Antony told Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com that “there’s no set timetable” for Buxton’s return and the Twins are “not going to push him.”

Minnesota already lost fellow stud prospect Miguel Sano for the entire season to Tommy John elbow surgery and, just generally speaking, Twins fans could use some good news at some point soon. And it certainly isn’t going to come from the big-league team, which appears headed for a fourth consecutive 95-loss season.

Buxton had been ticketed for Double-A at age 20, but now he’ll need some time at extended spring training first.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.